We're all about the features today, so how about a little TicketStub action?
* Baby Face -- Ladies Movie Night went retro, all the way back to 1933, with this restored b&w Nietszchean melodrama (!) starring the crackerjack Barbara Stanwyck -- you may remember her from The Cattle Queen of Montana? Well this was back when Hollywood was young and naive, but her character sure wasn't and thus the film was cut and re-shot by censors -- we saw some of the remade scenes at the end, it was hilarious. She plays Lily Powers, a tough cookie from Erie, PA, stewing in her dad's sleazy speakeasy until one day she snaps, hits a grabby local politician with a beer bottle, and hops a train with Chico, her blues-singing black washerwoman. Ringing in her ears is the advice from kindly local Mr. Crabbe, who reads Nietszche and urges her to "go to a big city, realize your potentialities -- and use men, use them before they use you!" Note that in the censored version Nietszche was nixed and instead Mr. Crabbe said, "Be clean, work hard, and you'll find success!" Hmmm, such similar advice. Lily heads to Gotham and baldly seduces every single man in her path, from the personnel manager of the bank on up through the ranks (including a youthful, heavily eyeshadowed John Wayne!), bedding a manager, then his father-in-law the vice president -- and then it gets ugly. She is showered with furs and jewels, but a murder-suicide creates a scandal, and she flees to France...only to marry the playboy grandson of the bank's founder a few months later! In the end, her heartless gold-digging gets its comeuppance when playboy also attempts suicide -- of course, the censors then tacked on a scene where they lose it all and move back to Erie, penniless but in love and contrite! Puh-lease -- it was so refreshing to see a female lead so unapologetically going after what she sees as rightfully hers. It's sort of a precursor to Kill Bill in that way. . . interesting. The audience laughed along good-naturedly to the stilted dialogue and morality lessons, but Stanwyck was fiery and convincing. Too bad I was too tired to stay for the second feature where she played a naughty student nurse! (A+)
* 2006 Men's World Curling Championship -- it's been almost a week, but it's never too late to enjoy curling! Nat and I took a chance on $15 tickets to the quarterfinal round of the competition up in Lowell, and we were richly rewarded with cunning strategy, goofy singalongs, and free-flowing Canadian beer. Curling is the one with the big rock and the brooms -- originating in Scotland, it's very popular in Canada and they had a huge turnout of fans for their match-up with the US team, which just won a bronze medal in Torino but unfortunately didn't overcome the Canadians here. Still, we had primo seats just a few rows back from the ice, and there were 4 matches going on simultaneously, never a dull moment, from the ruthlessly efficient Danes to the young hotheaded Swedes to the equally mediocre Aussies and Japanese, who went into extra "ends" because they were tied (at zero, for most of it). Watching the game on TV it was so easy to get sucked in, even with no knowledge of the rules. You pick it up quickly, and then in person you can see and hear all the yelling, huddling, and furious sweeping that make a great play. Highly recommended -- we might even check out a local club! Also, the pun factor is incredibly high. Curl on! (A+)